The capital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston was founded by early European settlers and takes its name from the English town of Boston, Lincolnshire. The city has a population of over 650,000, which makes it the largest city by population in New England and the 23rd most populated city in the USA.
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Welcome to Boston
Boston has what has been described as a humid continental climate, with warm, rainy humid summers and cold, wet winters. Average summer temperatures frequently reach the high 20s and low 30s, and the average winter temperatures are several degrees below freezing. The hottest month is July, and the coldest is January.
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Where to Stay
When choosing where to stay in a city like Boston, there are a lot of options at hand. With so many distinctive districts, you’re spoiled for choice and each one offers a little something different. Starting with Downtown Boston, which is the central business district of the city, you’ll find an abundance of modern architecture, high rise offices and many landmarks and tourist attractions, such as the Quincy Market, the Greenway, the 50 acre Boston Common and Massachusetts State House. If that sounds too busy for you, then perhaps Back Bay may be more to your liking. Located west of Downtown, the district offers some of the best views of the city from the John Hancock Tower. North End, also dubbed “Little Italy”, has an abundance of Italian restaurants and cafes and a prominent Italian-American culture. Cambridge is the University district of the city, with Harvard University and MIT.
Things to Do
With a long history dating back to the 17th-century and such diverse cultural heritage within the city, it should come as no surprise that Boston has a lot on offer in terms of things to do and see. For visitors with an interest in history, there’s the Boston Athenæum, the Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology. For science lovers, there’s the MIT Museum, the Warren Anatomical Museum and the Museum of Science. If you’re a fine arts connoisseur, then the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Axelle Fine Arts Galerie or Panopticon Gallery may interest you. As Boston played an important role in the War of Independence, there are many monuments to America and its path to freedom. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile walking tour of 16 historic sites that is marked by a line of red brick or red paint on the sidewalk.
Eating and Drinking
Like many US cities, Boston offers a fantastic selection of restaurants serving Americanised international cuisines, and in Boston the dominant international food influence is Italian. In the North End district, also referred to as “Little Italy”, you’ll find an abundance of Italian restaurants and cafes, especially along Hanover Street and side streets that surround it. Regional cuisine in Boston relies heavily on the fresh seafood that is brought in from the coast, and also dairy products from New England pastures. Typical local dishes include clam chowder, Lobster rolls, New England clam bake and Johnny cakes. In terms of sweet dishes, you’ll find a wide selection of great ice creams, with Boston being one of the top ice cream consuming regions. Perhaps the most famous local dessert is the Boston Cream Pie - a delicious sponge cake, filled with cream or custard and topped with chocolate.
Public transport in Boston is both affordable and convenient, enabling commuters to get pretty much anywhere within the city. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is responsible for all public transit within the area, and is the fourth largest transit system in the USA. The MBTA operates a grand total of 162 bus routes within the city limits, accounting for a total ridership of 375,000 single trips per day. Walking is also an option, with the city’s abundant scenery and attractive architectural landscape. Known as “America’s Walking City”, Boston was rated the third most walkable US city by Walkscore. Boston’s subway system is comprised of four colour-coded lines, the Red Line, which splits in two directions, the Green Line which splits into branches named B, C, D and E, the Orange Line, which is the oldest rapid transport line in the city, and the Blue Line, which crosses under Boston Harbour.
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